SUMNER — Voters packed the fire station Tuesday night and turned down funding a survey and clearing 1.5 to 3 acres for a meteorological tower on Mollyockett Mountain.

The vote was 29 against and 25 for the measure after discussions at the special town meeting lasted an hour. The proposal would have assessed the potential for having three windmills at the site.

An amendment, which was ruled out of order, would have asked the town to put up a test balloon tower with a strobe light so people could see what effect the light would have on their property.

Bob Runes pointed out that Bryant Pond has just voted to put three windmills on Spruce Mountain, which is 3 miles away as the crow flies from the Mollyockett site. The Spruce Mountain towers will have three strobe lights.
He said, “We can’t keep complaining about taxes going up if we don’t do anything. Changes will always be in someone’s backyard.”

Selectman Mark Silber said that students from Unity College would set up the meteorological tower but needed to get started this summer. He said the students have a dozen people on a waiting list. “People have to be adventurous,” he said.

Silber said if the study could warrant putting up the three windmills that are proposed, the town would collect money from the engineering company and collect taxes on the worth of the windmills, which he said would be about $2 million each.

Silber said the student study would be worth $120,000 to $150,000, according to Kean Engineering of Turner. Kean had wanted to do the study but at a special town meeting in the spring, voters said they didn’t want a private enterprise to develop the wind power plan. “You’ve rejected private enterprise and now you have rejected government and now we do nothing,” Silber told voters after the decision.

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